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What Are Vitamin Supplements?

Vitamins are organic compounds that our bodies need in small amounts to function and prevent a wide range of diseases and disorders. Most vitamins, along with minerals such as calcium, selenium, iron, and magnesium, can be consumed through eating unprocessed food as part of a healthy diet. For those who have trouble maintaining a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, a vitamin supplement is a type of dietary supplement that can be used to meet your daily vitamin needs. 

Amcal stock an extensive selection of mineral and vitamin supplements to suit every age and need. We have women's vitamins for pregnancy and menopause, men's vitamins for fertility and prostate health, probiotics, fiber supplements, vitamins to support bone health, heart health, and a good night-sleep, plus so much more by Australia's leading brands.

What Different Forms Do They Come in?

Most vitamins and minerals can be found in various food sources and give you all you need to sustain a healthy, active lifestyle. For example, leafy vegetables are good sources of many different nutrients, including vitamins A, C, K, magnesium, calcium, iron, and more. Nuts, grains, and seeds, such as flaxseeds, also contain a powerhouse of nutrients, from fiber and protein to B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

If you can't get enough vitamins the natural way, vitamin supplements are a great alternative. They come in different forms, including tablets, capsules, liquids, powders, and even injections.

Amcal stock a fantastic range of vitamin supplements for men, women, and children to improve and maintain their overall health and wellbeing. We have capsules, liquids and syrups, powder sachets, tablets, and drops to suit everyone.

Soluble in Fat vs Water

Vitamins are divided into either water-soluble vitamins or fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble which means the body stores them in fatty tissues and the liver. They are found in foods that contain fat and can stay in the body for months.

Vitamins C and B are water-soluble vitamins. They can't stay in the body for long and pass out of it through urine, meaning we need these vitamins more regularly.

Vitamin Supplement Benefits

Vitamin supplements can have a huge range of benefits on the body. Many vitamins can work together to support and maintain your body's ability to function and protect itself from illness. For example, vitamins A and D combined with calcium can help to support and strengthen bone health. While vitamin B12 can build DNA, vitamin E can help to repair it. Vitamin D is beneficial for calcium absorption and colon health, folic acid can reduce birth defects in pregnant women, B vitamins increase energy and promote brain health and vitamin C can strengthen the immune system and reduce the duration of colds and flu.

The 13 Vitamins:

There are a total of 13 vitamins found in humans. Four of them are fat-soluble and 9 of them are water-soluble. Read on to discover what the 13 vitamins are, how they function, and what can happen to your body if you're deficient in them:

  • Vitamin A - This vitamin can support eye health and help to maintain strong teeth, bones, and healthy skin. A deficiency can impair immunity, cause skin rashes and eye issues.
  • Vitamin B1 - B vitamins act as coenzymes that assist enzymes to support energy metabolism. B1 (Thiamine) can also support heart and nerve function. A deficiency can cause fatigue, appetite loss, and mental deterioration.
  • Vitamin B2 - Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is important for healthy body growth and red blood cell production. A deficiency can lead to skin disorders and lesions.
  • Vitamin B3 - Vitamin B3 (niacin) can help reduce cholesterol and prevent heart disease, improve brain function and ease inflammation. A minor deficiency can cause fatigue and digestion issues.
  • Vitamin B5 - Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is needed to metabolise food and produce energy. A deficiency in B5 can cause headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and stomach pains.
  • Vitamin B6 - Vitamin B6 is also called pyridoxine and helps to produce red blood cells as well as support brain function. Not enough vitamin B6 can lead to skin irritations and weakened immunity.
  • Vitamin B7 - Like other B vitamins, B7 helps to metabolise proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. A vitamin B7 deficiency can cause hair loss and skin rashes.
  • Vitamin B9 - This vitamin, also known as folate, is essential for pregnant women to reduce neural tube defects in growing babies. It produces DNA and manages tissue growth and cell function. A pregnant woman should consume 400 micrograms of folate daily. A deficiency can lead to birth disorders such as spina bifida. 
  • Vitamin B12 - Vitamin B12 works with other B vitamins to keep the body's nerve and red blood cell system healthy. A deficiency can lead to megaloblastic anaemia, a condition that produces large, abnormal blood cells that don't function normally.
  • Vitamin C - Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant vitamin that can boost the immune system, support healthy teeth and gums, absorb iron and assist with wound healing. A deficiency can cause fatigue, mental illness, and connective tissue problems.
  • Vitamin D - Vitamin D is made naturally by the body after exposure to the sun. Vitamin D supplements can help those who don't live in sunny areas. It's important for calcium absorption, immune function, and strong bones. It may also be able to help with weight loss. A vitamin D deficiency can cause bone density loss.
  • Vitamin E - Vitamin E is another antioxidant vitamin called tocopherol. It may be able to protect cells from damage and helps the body to produce red blood cells and work with vitamin K. A deficiency can lead to nerve and muscle damage, as well as a weakened immune system.
  • Vitamin K - This vitamin is needed to coagulate blood and help wounds to heal. It may also be able to support bone health. Not enough vitamin K can result in excessive bleeding.

Best Time to Take Vitamin Supplements

The best time to take your supplements will depend on which vitamins you are using. You should take water-soluble vitamins on an empty stomach for better absorption, typically 30 mixtures before breakfast. Fat-soluble vitamins should be taken with your evening meal where they can be absorbed with other dietary food fats.

Always seek medical advice from a healthcare professional before incorporating vitamin supplements into your routine as high doses of any vitamin or mineral can be dangerous.

Vitamin Supplements for Hair and Skin

There are several vitamins that can help to keep your skin firmer, plumper, and more moisturised as you age. The most important vitamins to consider adding to your skincare routine is vitamin D to help fight free radicals that can lead to premature ageing, vitamin C for collagen production, vitamin E to help protect skin from sun damage and keep skin conditioned, and vitamin K for assisting with healing wounds and potentially treating skin conditions, such as scars and dark spots.

For hair, a B vitamin called biotin may be able to help with hair growth, while antioxidant vitamins C and E can help prevent damage to hair follicles and keep them strong and healthy.

Reliable Vitamin Supplement Brands

At Amcal, we stock the most trusted brands of vitamin supplements in Australia for boosting and taking care of your long-term health. Shop online or in your nearest store and discover all our most popular brands, including Blackmores, Swisse, Amcal, Pharmacy Care, Benefiber, Flordis, and Comvita. We have tablets and capsules to support pregnancy, skin health, better sleep, brain function, and heart health, as well as olive leaf extracts, fiber powders and nutrition shakes for weight loss.

Shop online with free postage over $89 or visit your nearest Amcal store.

FAQs About Vitamin Supplements

What is the Best Vitamin Supplement to Take?

The best vitamin supplement for you will depend on your age, gender, lifestyle, and situation. Here are some of the most popular men's, women's, and children's vitamins and the possible benefits to adding them to your diet:  

  • Vitamin C can be used to help lessen the duration of colds and flu
  • Vitamin A can be used to promote healthy skin, hair, and nails
  • Vitamin B can be used to support energy levels, brain function, and cell growth
  • Vitamin D can be used for bone health and calcium absorption

Are Vitamin Supplements Good for You?

While they are not intended to replace a nutritious diet full of fruits, leafy vegetables, and protein, a vitamin supplement, such as a multivitamin, in the morning can be enough to give you that extra boost to fuel your body throughout the day. They can be particularly beneficial for those with a diagnosed deficiency, as well as breastfeeding mothers who need to keep their immunity strong through vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin D, and B Complex.

Do I Need Vitamin Supplements?

Vitamin supplements aren't for everybody. People who eat a balanced diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein and dairy products will typically be getting all of the vitamins they need. For those who struggle to do this, vitamin and mineral supplements can be a great way to ensure you are absorbing enough nutrients. 

What Supplements Should I Take?

Along with a healthy diet and exercise, supplementation is a quick and convenient way to give your body everything it needs to survive. Which dietary supplement you choose will greatly depend on your individual circumstances. For example:

  • A child may require more vitamin D and iron
  • A pregnant woman needs folic acid found in vitamin B9
  • A restricted diet could be boosted with omega-3 fatty acids, B12 and calcium 
  • A multivitamin can benefit young women who intend to become pregnant
  • A probiotic can assist with gastrointestinal issues
  • A dietary supplement can help with weight loss and increase metabolism